When readers are browsing for a new book, they’re going to be drawn to a great book cover and a catchy title. They’ll read the blurb on the back cover, but before actually taking the plunge and hitting the BUY button, most readers will skim the first few pages of a book that interests them… And if these pages are riddled with errors, the consumer is off to the next book. In order to be taken seriously, self-published books must be professionally edited.
Often self-publishing authors are so anxious to get their books in print that they skip this crucial step. Others feel their book is fine because their mother or their next-door neighbor checked it over… But take a look at Amazon reviews, and you’ll find that the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with silly mistakes and serious flaws — problems that an editor would never let slip through the cracks. If the reader is preoccupied with incorrect punctuation, word choice, and grammar, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.
Most importantly, no matter how thrilling your thriller or educational your how-to, if your book is unedited (or edited by your former first-grade teacher), you will very likely be perceived as an amateur. Many authors feel confident in their own editing abilities and believe their book is fine without a fresh pair of eyes to review it. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. But a professional editor does so much more than check for spelling.
What can an editor do for you?
- A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.
- Copyeditors focus on a book line by line, looking for spelling and grammatical problems, consistency, clarity, word choice, sentence structure, verb tense, dialogue, and other issues of style. They also look at the big picture and flag general problem areas in plot, character, point of view, and overall flow.
- Did your main character’s name change halfway through your book? An editor will catch it. They’ll also catch embarrassing errors like anachronisms (a smartphone in 1932?) or plot problems (how can your heroine be in two places at one time?). Does the book switch back and forth from past to present tense? Is it filled with long, confusing sentences and page-long paragraphs? An editor will fix these problems.
It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, having an objective professional review work that is so close to your heart is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that BUY button if they’re not distracted by poor presentation and awkward sentence structure!
Are you ready to edit and publish that book?
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The professional copyediting service provides a thorough basic edit of a manuscript’s punctuation, spelling and grammar. There is, of course, some variation in accepted styles these days, and elements like comma usage can be quite subjective, as well, so Outskirts Press editors use the “Track Changes” option in the original Word file to make recommendations or suggestions for an author. They do not change the original manuscript. This preserves the purity of the story and the individuality of the author’s voice.
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|TOP 5 PUBLISHING HEADLINES|
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|AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & SUCCESS STORY|
“I have been a business consultant for over 30 years and have extensive experience marketing myself and evaluating the staff and processes that are in place in organizations with which I do business. When I started looking for a publishing company, Outskirts Press impressed me immediately. My decision to go with them was absolutely the right one. I am so impressed that I plan on publishing the sequel Dawn of the Tobacco Wars through Outskirts Press this fall.”
Peter Prichard has spent the last thirty-eight years helping thousands of individuals reach their goals. He has written dozens of articles and several book chapters on how to do that. He began his career by providing career guidance to college students, and he has been particularly interested in assisting young adults and those who want to drive positive change in their particular organizations, their community, and the world. As an acknowledgment of those efforts, he received the Youth Advocate Award from the town in New Jersey.
Dawn Mortenson moved to Fair Shore, Connecticut and within 24 hours of her arrival at Fair Shore High she realized that the town condoned the sexual assault of young girls. She alienated most of the population of the town after her confrontation with the All American football hero found him in the hospital. The ensuing battle landed many friends and foes in jail, the hospital or an early grave. Dawn uses music, the media, a team of young and old allies and a combination of personal courage and mental toughness to change the town’s attitude toward the sexual abuse of young people forever, although at a huge personal cost.
– Peter Prichard, author of Dawn of Hope
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